The Know-It-All

knowitallHow did I manage to live this long in the Western world without reading an AJ Jacobs book?  Sure, I know who he is.  I’ve seen him give very funny interviews.  I even followed some of the follow up projects to his biblical living project.

A few weeks ago I came across “The Know-It-All” at the local library in the audio books.  It wasn’t Jacobs himself doing the reading, but the actor was great.

I really enjoyed this book as a bit of light non-fiction reading.  Jacobs takes on the project of reading the whole Encyclopaedia Britannica.  Literally A to Z.  At first the project seems to turn him into a jerk showing everyone how smart he is.  Either he gets nicer or I started to find his jerkiness endearing.

The book is a mix of personal stories of his time reading the encyclopaedia (working at Esquire, trying to get pregnant) and interesting entries.  I use the term interesting quite loosely, as some of the stories and facts are a bit of snooze.  However, the whole thing comes together to give you a picture of the book and reader.  Quirky.  A little over-intellectualized.  Generally educational.

While I was tempted to jump right into “My Year of Living Biblically”, I think one more descriptor is appropriate – good in small doses.


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